To Bridge Upgrade, or Not to Bridge Upgrade

I read through the past post on high mass bridges. Is it really worth it to switch to a high mass bridge? And, for a Fender Jazz bass, should I go with a Fender high mass bridge, or a Hip-Shot? Thoughts?

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Depends :slight_smile:

Some people like them, others prefer the smaller ones.

I like a middle ground myself and when upgrading like to use a Gotoh B204. Not himass, but still a solid substantial bridge.

Some basses I leave alone because they already have nice bridges.


My first bass was/still is here a Squier CV 70’s jazz.
I have upgraded every single component on it except the neck, body and pickguard (simply used a sharpie to blacken out the edge) and changed all the components to black.

The single biggest tonal change I noticed was when I put on the Hipshot high mass bridge.

Q: Is it better?
A: Depends
I like the tone better, but that doesn’t mean you or others will or will even care.

There are others out there too.
Leo Quan (only used now and what the Hipshot is based on).

The nice feature on the Hipshot is the ability to change string spacing - if that interests you.

All of these will fit your bass (drop in, same screw hole spacing), all will change your tone.
Better - is for you to decide.
Worth it - is again for you to decide.

A lot of us mod our basses for fun vs. for a particular ‘need’. (ex. My bass is lacking sustain/overtones/low end/depth/etc)
If you don’t have an exacting need, to me it falls in the ‘fun’ camp.


If you want a more even, consistant and slightly naturally compressed tone, a high-mass bridge is good. And those are good reasons to change it, actually.

If you want a more punchy, snappy, violent attack with quick transcients, then a small folded bridge will be better in my opinion. That’s why I prefer those small bridges, and that’s why I went back from a high-mass.


Some people also like singles, like these:
Their distinguishing feature is that they are “isolated” from each other (vibrationally).


Schecter uses those on some of their mid range to high end basses.


I’d just go with Fender high mass bridge. It has Fender logo and it’s cheap. If you want to spend more and look good Gotoh titanium looks great.

Babicz looks great and performs really well but it would be the most difficult one to install and setup for the first time after that it’s a breeze.

If you want something unique then checkout RayRoss saddleless

Personally I don’t but Hipshot products anymore so I can’t recommend it.


Rayross isn’t really a high mass bridge and a super unique tone, very bright, just to be clear.


I’m glad you pointed that out. I was going to guess the opposite from how boxy it looks.

@Al1885 does the Rayross hold intonation well the way it tightens down?


They do hold intonation well.

They are a PITA to set up IMO.
The crazy extra sustain zing and “ringing” was just not my thing. @Al1885 loves this thought.
Diff’rent Strokes…


People also upgrade to a bridge with brass saddles, which tend to darken the tone, Sire basses tend to have a bright tone, so I put brass saddles on mine to get a more balanced tone.

I like both Fender and Hipshot himass bridges. If you want something in between himass and folded, Gotoh is a nice choice

Don’t get sucked into the sustain vortex, never heard a bass that needs more sustain, yours has enough for the job


And/or with a brass nut, while you’re at it :wink:


I prefer bridges where I don’t have to thread the strings through a hole.


Is a high mass bridge the new Tonewood?

Asking for a friend.


Nah. Tonewood is more permanent. You can change a bridge out quickly, it’s more akin to strings


@DaveT yes like @John_E said the intonation is great and the tone is super unique quite bright and sparkly.

When it is under tension there’s no adjustment period so you have to loosen the string in order to make any adjustments, which is a proper way to do but now of us usually do that, lol.

As for a dramatic change, you won’t really notice when you switch. Only when you go back then you’ll sense the difference. Like mountain biking @Barney can tell you you can’t really tell if how stiff the frame performs until you go back to more flex then you can appreciate the differences.


So Tonewood is like a dog. Got it.



I like the Hipshot Kickass. Easy to install and super adjustable, but I’m not sure I can attribute any magical qualities to it. I also like that it’s not festooned with any logos.


I like the Hipshot Kickass. Of all the bridges :foggy: researched, it checked more of the boxes for me.

That was actually why I picked it on my first upgrade, or at least a big part of why.